What is Uveitis?
Uveitis is defined as inflammation of the of the uvea or vascular portion of the eye. The uvea is comprised of the iris, the ciliary body which sits behind the iris and produces the fluid found within the eye, and the choroid, the layer of tissue and blood vessels found underlying the retina.
Uveitis involving the iris and ciliary body is called anterior uveitis. Uveitis involving the choroid is known as posterior uveitis. If changes are noted in all portions of the uvea, this is called panuveitis.
- Increased tearing
- Blue color to cornea
- Cloudiness of the eye
- Change in eye color
- Change in pupil size
Causes of Feline Uveitis
In cats, uveitis is commonly an ocular manifestation of a systemic disease. Various causes of uveitis are listed below.
There are numerous infectious causes of uveitis, including bacterial, protozoal, fungal, and viral diseases. These include the following:
- Feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV)
- Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)
- Toxoplasma gondii infection (toxoplasmosis)
- Bartolenlla henselae infection (bartonellosis)
Cancer within the eye may also lead to uveitis. Tumors found within the eye may be primary or ocular in origin, but may also be metastatic from other systemic locations.
Trauma to the eye is another common cause of uveitis. It is important to note that in many cases a cause may not be identified. These cases are
referred to as idiopathic uveitis.
Diagnosis of Uveitis
Diagnosis of uveitis is made by thorough ophthalmic examination. Tonometry, or measurement of the pressure within the eye will be low in association with uveitis (<10 mmHg). Examination of the eye may reveal a number of changes associated with uveitis.
Uveitis in cats is often associated with systemic disease, thus identification of the underlying cause is also important step in the diagnostic process. Thorough physical examination in conjunction with diagnostic screening tests may be necessary to identify the cause of uveitis in your cat.
BluePearl Veterinary Partners offers a comprehensive feline uveitis panel, a package of tests that may identify the cause of your cat’s uveitis. This includes the following:
- Complete blood count/Biochemical profile
- FeLV/FIV test
- Toxoplasma titer
- Coronavirus titer (FIP)
- Feline Bartonella test
Complications of Uveitis
If left untreated, uveitis can lead to a number of potential complications. These include: cataract formation, glaucoma, blindness, or phthisis bulbi (degeneration of the eye).
Treatment of Uveitis
The treatment of uveitis includes topical antiinflammatory medications as well as medications that dilate the pupil. These medications will decrease inflammation within the eye and alleviate pain.
Systemic treatments may be recommended by your veterinarian. These are aimed at
treating the inciting cause of the uveitis and may include oral antibiotics, antiinflammatory
or antifungal medications.
Learn more about this disease by contacting our Ophthalmology service at your
nearest BluePearl veterinary hospital. For a list of hospital locations, please visit
Learn more about this disease by contacting our Ophthalmology service at your nearest BluePearl veterinary hospital. Here are our hospital locations.
© BluePearl Veterinary Partners 2011